(Tea Party PAC) – It’s not a good day to be former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who has been indicted on eleven counts of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy as a part of a scam somehow related to the sales of a self-published children’s book series.
Baltimore has been a hotbed of corruption for many years, this just being the latest example. It’s time for the big cities around the country to acknowledge that the leftist way of doing things isn’t working.
Here’s more from Breitbart:
The disgraced former mayor of Baltimore was charged Wednesday with fraud and tax evasion involving sales of her self-published children’s books.
An 11-count federal indictment accuses Catherine Pugh of using her “Healthy Holly” books to enrich herself, promote her political career and fund her run for mayor.
“There are many victims in this case” said U.S. Attorney Robert Hur in announcing the indictment. “The victims are all of us, the taxpayers and the people of Baltimore, who expect and deserve integrity from their public officials.”
Federal authorities say Pugh and two city employees double-sold the books or failed to deliver them to institutions they were purchased for, including the Baltimore City Public Schools. Pugh then allegedly used the proceeds to fund straw donations to her mayoral campaign and to renovate a house.
Pugh, who has been in seclusion since early April, is expected to surrender to U.S. marshals ahead of her arraignment Thursday in Baltimore. She’ll appear before U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and tax evasion.
Also unsealed Wednesday were the indictments of two associates of Pugh, Gary Brown, Jr., and Roslyn Wedington, who have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax fraud.
Hur described their alleged crimes as a years-long “ruse” involving “funny documents” including faked federal tax forms and invoices, and companies that did no actual work.
If convicted, Pugh faces up to 20 years in prison on each wire fraud count, and five years for each tax evasion count. The federal government also will seek to seize a house owned by Pugh and $770,000 as part of any sentence.
Pugh’s attorney, Steven Silverman, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.
Pugh, 69, resigned in May after authorities began probing whether she arranged bulk sales of “Healthy Holly” books to disguise political kickbacks. Federal, state and local probes examined financial arraignments that netted Pugh hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for her hard-to-find books. They were meant for schools and day care centers, but it’s unclear where tens of thousands of copies ended up.
Asked whether he views the buyers of the books as victims, or co-conspirators, Hur said he couldn’t comment, but he said the multi-agency investigation continues, and that people can “rest assured that we are continuing to look at all the potential criminal charges that could be brought.”
Hur also fended off a question about whether the book purchasers received any direct benefit or desired influence from Pugh.
“All very interesting questions,” Hur said. “We look forward to telling more in court.”
The first-term Democrat, who became mayor in late 2016, took a leave from the mayor’s office in early April, due to what her lawyer described as poor health following a bout of pneumonia. Silverman said then that Pugh was so fragile physically and mentally that she was unable to make “major decisions.”
FBI and IRS agents raided her offices, homes and other locations in late April, seizing money transfer receipts, a laptop, compact discs and a $100,000 check from the University of Maryland Medical System to Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” company.
The indictment provides details of the alleged tax evasion. It accuses her, for example, of claiming taxable income in 2016 of $31,020, with $4,168 tax due, “when in fact, Pugh’s taxable income was $322,365, with an income tax due of approximately $102,444.”
Pugh’s books included such titles as “Healthy Holly: Exercising is Fun” and “Healthy Holly: Fruits Come in Colors like the Rainbow.” Most were not sold at bookstores or through wholesalers.
Instead, they were sold directly to nonprofits and foundations that did business — or attempted to do business — with the state or the city of Baltimore, according to the indictment.
Politicians like Pugh need to be held accountable for the corruption they indulge themselves in, especially when it hurts others in some capacity. It’s an abuse of the power and privilege they have of serving the public.
Unfortunately, many individuals who are guilty of abusing their power get away with their crimes simply because they are members of the Democratic Party, and those folks most definitely go out of their way to protect their own people. That much we know from watching Hillary Clinton get involved in scandal after scandal and manage to never receive any sort of punishment for her crimes.
Let’s hope Pugh gets the book thrown at her for what she’s done.